Climate Change

Climate Change


Sustainable Energy and Climate Change Initiative

Alternative energy, sustainable agriculture, climate-friendly transportation and climate resilient resource management are just some of the many areas in which the Inter-American Development Bank is leading the way in setting high sustainability standards. These standards are part of the Bank’s commitment of providing countries in Latin America and the Caribbean with the best available technologies and practices to ensure economic viability, social equity, and environmental integrity.

The goals of the Sustainable Energy and Climate Change Initiative are centered around the provision of comprehensive sustainability options in areas related to the energy, transportation, water and environmental sectors as well as building climate resilience in key priority areas vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. The Initiative consists of four strategic pillars:

In 2009 as part of the development and management of the Initiative, the IDB created the Sustainable Energy and Climate Change Unit (ECC). More


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Latest Publications

2016 Development Effectiveness Report

Inter-American Development Bank (IDB)

Date: Dec, 2016

The Development Effectiveness Report is an annual analysis of the performance, effectiveness, and impact of the projects and activities of the Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF). This 2016 edition once again reports on the development impacts of the projects that the MIF has tested and scaled up throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, using the MIF results framework that was presented to MIF donors in 2013. Since 2014 was the first year that the MIF reported these results, this year's report relies on three years of gathered data to compare results and identify trends and changes. This report also features a retrospective view of MIF II accomplishments from 2007 through 2015, and gives highlights of the MIF portfolio in execution of 418 projects and of its investment and loan portfolio. The report concludes with stories of 10 ongoing projects that fit into the MIF's three new focus areas and that have begun to show results.

Latin America and the Caribbean 2030: Future Scenarios

Marczak, Jason;Engelke, Peter;Bohl, David;Saldarriaga Jiménez, Andrea

Date: Dec, 2016

Strategic foresight is critical to moving a country or region in the right direction. Leaders nearly everywhere in the world are overwhelmed by the crush of events, focusing their attention on the present rather than the long term. Latin America and the Caribbean is no different. But complacency in thinking and planning for the future can no longer be the status quo. At a moment of profound regional and global transformation, the time is now to seize on policy directions that are most likely to take the region in the right direction. While Latin America and the Caribbean has many challenges, through foresight and strategy it could boost its position in the world -as Asia has done already. This publication makes the case for doing just that. Latin America has made incredible economic and political progress over the past decade. The prolonged commodity boom in the 2000s fueled higher growth rates than the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) average and generated a dramatic drop in the poverty rate and a huge explosion of the middle class. Today, 288 million, or one in three people, are considered middle class. At the same time, with a few notable exceptions, democratic institutions are stronger, with universal suffrage and regular elections now largely the norm. The key question for the future is whether the region can maintain momentum, particularly with China's slowing growth. The end of the commodity boom exposed underlying structural problems in Latin America and the Caribbean. Fiscal and institutional concerns, as well as other social and economic questions, were laid bare. Not only do the next nearly fifteen years require us to solve lingering issues that remain from the mid-teens, but a new direction must be charted so the region can maximize its inherent advantages and best compete in a rapidly changing world.

Vulnerability to Climate Change of Hydroelectric Production Systems in Central America and their Adaptation Options: Executive Summary

Esquivel, Maricarmen;Grunwaldt, Alfred;Paredes, Juan Roberto;Rodríguez-Flores, Enrique

Date: Nov, 2016

Central America is one of the most vulnerable regions to the effects of climate change. With more than 50% of the electricity generation depending on existing hydroelectric plants by 2015, the region's energy security is heavily dependent on the amount of hydroelectric energy that can be produced and thus on the water flows available in its rivers. In addition, the region still has a significant untapped potential. Consequently, it is critical to determine the potential impacts of climate change on water flows in current and future hydroelectric plants so as to ensure energy reliability and security. This Executive Summary presents a brief summary of the methodology, developed with the contribution of the relevant institutions in the region, for determining the vulnerability of the hydroelectric systems to climate change and identifying possible adaptation measures.

Hydro-BID: New Functionalities (Reservoir, Sediment and Groundwater Simulation Modules)

Moreda, Fekadu;Lord, Benjamin;Nalesso, Mauro;Coli Valdes Daussa, Pedro;Corrales, Juliana

Date: Nov, 2016

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) provides financial and technical support for infrastructure projects in water and sanitation, irrigation, flood control, transport, and energy, and for development projects in agriculture, urban systems, and natural resources. Many of these projects depend upon water resources and may be affected negatively by climate change and other developments that alter water availability, such as population growth and shifts in land use associated with urbanization, industrial growth, and agricultural practices. Assessing the potential for future changes in water availability is an important step toward ensuring that infrastructure and other development projects meet their operational, financial, and economic goals. It is also important to examine the implications of such projects for the future allocation of available water among competing users and uses to mitigate potential conflict and to ensure such projects are consistent with long-term regional development plans and preservation of essential ecosystem services. As part of its commitment to help member countries adapt to climate change, the IDB is sponsoring work to develop and apply the Regional Water Resources Simulation Model for Latin America and the Caribbean, an integrated suite of watershed modeling tools known as Hydro-BID. Hydro-BID is a highly scalable modeling system that includes hydrology and climate analysis modules to estimate the availability of surface water (stream flows) at the regional, basin, and sub-basin scales. The system includes modules for incorporating the effects of groundwater and reservoirs on surface water flows and for estimating sediment loading. Data produced by Hydro-BID are useful for water balance analysis, water allocation decisions, and economic analysis and decision support tools to help decision-makers make informed choices among alternative designs for infrastructure projects and alternative policies for water resources management. IDB sponsored the development of Hydro-BID and provides the software and basic training free of charge to authorized users; see The system was developed by RTI International as an adaptation of RTI's proprietary WaterFALL® modeling software, based on over 30 years of experience developing and using the U.S. National Hydrography Dataset (NHDPlus) in support to the U.S. Geological Survey and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. In Phase I of this effort, RTI prepared a working version of Hydro-BID that includes: (1) the Analytical Hydrography Dataset for Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC AHD), a digital representation of 229,300 catchments in Central America, South America, and the Caribbean with their corresponding topography, river, and stream segments; (2) a geographic information system (GIS)-based navigation tool to browse AHD catchments and streams with the capability of navigating upstream and downstream; (3) a user interface for specifying the area and period to be modeled and the period and location for which water availability will be simulated; (4) a climate data interface to obtain rainfall and temperature inputs for the area and period of interest; (5) a rainfall-runoff model based on the Generalized Watershed Loading Factor (GWLF) formulation; and (6) a routing scheme for quantifying time of travel and cumulative flow estimates across downstream catchments. Hydro-BID generates output in the form of daily time series of flow estimates for the selected location and period. The output can be summarized as a monthly time series at the user's discretion. In Phase II of this effort, RTI has prepared an updated version of Hydro-BID that includes (1) improvements to the user interface; (2) a module to simulate the effect of reservoirs on downstream flows; (3) a module to link Hydro-BID and groundwater models developed with MODFLOW and incorporate water exchanges between groundwater and surface water compartments into the simulation of sur